Many of the times when we provide marketing tips on our blog, we are careful to cover topics that our readers are likely to be able to implement themselves. This go around, I am going to talk about something a bit more complex: software as marketing for law firms. If you know how to code, you may be able to build some of these tools yourself, otherwise, you may have to hire a developer or purchase the software from a provider to implement some of the ideas I’ll be talking about here. Before I jump into some examples, let me first explain what software as marketing is.
I don’t believe there is an official definition of the term “software as marketing” or at least I couldn’t find a good one so I’ll just take a stab at it myself. Software as marketing is the use of code to create a service or product that is designed solely for the purposes of furthering your marketing efforts. The service or “product” is not meant to be sold but rather oftentimes provided for free for the purposes of expand the businesses online reach, organic search engine rankings, social media engagement and to generate leads or indirectly produce revenue. Let me give you a couple of examples that will help this make more sense.
One of our Southern California law firm clients, The Law Offices of Omar Gastelum & Associates, PLLC does a lot of DUI/DWI work. He came to us asking about how he can possibly generate more DUI leads to his office.
After some research, we determined that the Los Angeles Police Department (the largest PD in his general geographic area) posts DUI checkpoint information on their website. Knowing this, we created a script to help us find that information, summarize it and post it on Mr. Gastelum’s website. The blog posts lists the DUI checkpoint date and times and includes a link to the general location on a Google Map. His blog, also auto posts a link to that information on his Twitter and Facebook profiles as well. Now, people who are interested in this type of information (I’ll let you guess at why someone would be interested in such information) will follow his social media and blog to stay informed about when and where these events will happen.
This take on software as marketing has helped him build an audience of people who are interested in DUI checkpoints. He builds brand recognition and can generate leads from the same audience in the event one of them gets a DUI.
Palace Law is a successful law firm based in Seattle, Washington that focuses solely on workers comp issues. To help consumers get a general idea of how much their workers compensation cases can be worth, we created a workers compensation calculator for his website. The calculator is located on his homepage and is a pretty straightforward Q&A tool that pulls data from state workers compensation tables. In order for a consumer to get the result, they must provide their name and email. Once the user provides their contact information the results are provided.
Of course, there are appropriate disclaimers indicating that this is an estimate only and that they should speak with qualified workers compensation attorney to determine a more accurate potential value such as the attorneys at Palace Law. The contact information provided to the firm serves as lead generation, while the results provided to the user is a good general gauge as to a potential value of a case. The overall feedback from Palace Law has been very positive because they are getting lots of great leads since deploying it to their website.
While many traditional marketing strategies (e.g., SEO, Adwords, direct mail, etc) are still highly relevant and effective, software as marketing is an area that we are seeing lots of success with. The great thing about software as marketing is that after some initial investment in development costs, the service provides excellent free lead generation, SEO and social media engagement for a very long time. If you have any ideas about creating your own software for marketing, or would like to know about some of the examples provided here, feel free to contact me at (626) 578-5040 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Finally if you have examples that you would like to share, please do so in the comments below.